Baksı used to mean “Wise, medicus, shaman” among the old Turks. And the village Baksı, nowadays called Bayraktar, has been existing atop one of Bayburt’s oldest mountains for centuries. The villagers, with a population of less than 400, live in a simple routine, far from the world and İstanbul, the center of culture for our country. However, in 2010’s, a new figure joins the old mountains: The Baksı Museum.
I’m sure it feels weird enough, being one of the smallest cities of Turkey, and the one most emigrated from. Carrying this secret gloom of those from Bayburt himself, artist and academician Prof. Dr. Hüsamettin Koçan, wanted to make the sparkling dreams that fit so well to his land come true – all to the good! The talk of a museum has began in 2000, and the museum has been completed in 2010, without any help from the government. With an exhibition hall addition in 2012, it has really settled into this Bayraktar Village of the oldest mountains. The museum’s collection carries 200 pieces of art including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, video and installations from over 160 artists of various disciplines. With artist donations, this collection continues to grow. Also, local designs are included in this portfolio.
With its modern architecture that matches the environment as well as redesigning the geography figuratively, Baksı implants its purpose in these old mountains to the viewers’ minds. And from the museum’s observation deck, onlookers enjoy the wonderful view of old mountains and the folding Çorum River.
I haven’t been able to visit it just yet, but Baksı Museum comes first in my list of places to visit. I must see the village and the miracle that formed in this land with my very own eyes: the museum that joined their lives, the ateliers, the library. In this glary place where contemporary and local art flirts, I must definitely witness the youngest members of the oldest mountains, the children, meet the sparkle of design and culture.
Whenever I watch Baksı from afar, I can’t help but wonder; maybe villagers who left their lands a few years ago are also looking back at their roots, wondering the “why”s, “how”s and “what if”s… Today, the only sight that is visible even from İstanbul, Baksı’s twinkle, carries the hope to redesign the whole village…